The College of Business Gives Back on the MLK Day of Service


 

By Matthew D'Angelo

MLk Day of Service- February 2016

On Monday, Jan. 18, JMU’s College of Business (CoB) Diversity Council commemorated Martin Luther King Jr. Day by hosting its first Day of Service. The event, which took place on a day when the university was closed for the holiday, brought together students, faculty and local organizations to participate in more than 25 service projects throughout the Harrisonburg community.

Service projects included writing letters to soldiers, making valentines for nursing homes, putting together care kits for a local recovery home, assisting with a move, refurbishing a bike for community use and creating a marketing plan for the local children’s museum. The CoB also sponsored a coat and food drive for local churches, collecting nearly 1,600 food and non-food items. Accounting firm Dixon Hughes Goodman provided pizza for the event and sent representatives to talk with students and faculty about their service contributions.

"The people who chose to transform this day into a few hours of service to our community have souls generated by love," says event organizer Daphyne Thomas, faculty adviser to the CoB Student Diversity Council and chair of the CoB Diversity Council.

Beta Gamma Sigma member David Tessier enjoyed played Bingo with residents at a nearby retirement community.

"It was an afternoon filled with pleasant conversation,” Tessier says. “It was truly a great opportunity to bring a smile to their faces on our day off from classes."

Some CoB students were able to offer their professional skills to benefit local organizations. The Center for Economic Education, for example, upgraded Shenandoah Valley Autism Partnership’s (SVAP) website leading up to MLK Service Day, making the site more mobile-friendly and integrating social media options.

"Members of SVAP are often involved with caregiving and other responsibilities," says economics professor William Wood. "They may not have time to get in and update a website, but now their posts to the SVAP Facebook page are automatically fed to the new one."

Thomas hopes to make the CoB Day of Service an annual event. Engaging students in and out of the classroom has a positive on the Harrisonburg community and helps students grow personally, she says.

“We hope that next year, even more faculty and even more students will embrace this event as a time to not just take a day off, but to share their hearts full of grace by engaging in outreach as part of a national day of service,” Thomas says.

Published: Monday, February 1, 2016

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 17, 2017

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